"Cheeses loves me. This I know..." We were in the dairy section at Albertsons when Adela started singing her favorite Sunday School song, Jesus Loves Me. The other customers around me smiled. A few chuckled. I tried to hide my grimace.
It was official. Adela had no idea what that song meant.
Teaching my children about their Heavenly Father has been a struggle for me. I have came at it from different directions. I've read articles. I've tried online helpers and coloring sheets. The problem was that none of it interested my three-year-old. If anything it left her more frustrated than she was thirty minutes before when she was happily allowed to play with her toy horses in peace. But, there have been other avenues that touched her heart. For my little girl, praying with her, talking with her about the things God made, and singing, that sticks to her mind and soul.
The combination of her young age and her personality no doubt hinders the logical lesson-plan approach that I started. It made me wonder if their are any other mothers concerned about the spiritual progress of their little ones. So, if you, like me, worry about this, here are some pointers I have picked up on this journey.
1. Let it happen naturally. A friend of mine told me to take Adela for a walk and tell her about the animals God made. Adela loved it. She nodded her head sagely and perkily repeated the animal names and God's role in their lives. In a way, I think it made God feel more concrete to her, more part of her world.
2. Keep God in Conversation. God is part of every aspect of our lives. Why not keep Him included when we talk about life with our family? Goodness, this has actually helped my own attitude as I talk to my girls about God and the little things we are doing everyday. For example, my daughter asked me why I was eating cottage cheese and veggies again and I told her it was because God wants me to take care of my body.
3. Keep Singing. Those kid songs really stick with them and little ones generally love music. When I get tired of singing "Joy, joy, joy" a dozen times, I will put Pandora on to Contemporary Christian Music. I would rather fill my family's heads and hearts with this than anything else.
4. Make a big deal out of Big days. Christmas and Easter are precious days of remembrance. Today we made and decorated cupcakes. It was a lot of fun with Adela and Micaela's friends already visiting for the day. As we worked we talked about what Easter meant and why it was such an important day.
5. Get Family Involved. Let grandparents, aunts, uncles, and etc. know that teaching your child about God is important to you and that you would love for them to be part of that. Having examples in their lives of loved ones who value their Heavenly Father will have a powerful impact.
So, as our weekend begins, I hope you feel encouraged that we have many opportunities to share our friendship with Jesus with our children.
Easter is such a beautiful day to remember how each and every one of us were given a precious gift: Salvation for those who believe. What an amazing thing to be able to celebrate with our family.
Start children off on the way they should go,
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"...and God was already there with me."